Last week, I gave a few quotes (here) from the first two chapters of Life Together, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German Lutheran pastor who was executed by the Nazis in the final days of World War 2. Here are quotes from the rest of the book:
Chapter 3 — The Day Alone
But silence before the Word leads to right hearing and thus also to right speaking of the Word of God at the right time.
The most promising method of prayer is to allow oneself to be guided by the word of the Scriptures.
A Christian fellowship lives and exists by the intercession of its members for one another, or it collapses.
Chapter 4 — Ministry
Only he who lives by the forgiveness of his sin in Jesus Christ will rightly think little of himself…. Because the Christian can no longer fancy that he is wise he will also have no high opinion of his own schemes and plans.
The beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them.
We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God. God will be constantly crossing our paths and canceling our plans by sending us people with claims and petitions. We may pass them by, preoccupied with our more important tasks, as the priest passed by the man who had fallen among theives, perhaps–reading the Bible.
Chapter 5 — Confession and Communion
He who is alone with his sin is utterly alone…. The pious fellowship permits no one to be a sinner. So everybody must conceal his sin from himself and from the fellowship…. The fact is that we are sinners!
The misery of the sinner and the mercy of God–this was the truth of the Gospel in Jesus Christ.
We must ask ourselves whether we have not often been deceiving ourselves with our confession of sin to God…. And is not the reason perhaps for our countless relapses and the feebleness of our Christian obedience to be found precisely in the fact that we are living on self-forgiveness and not a real forgiveness?
I highly recommend this book for its Christ-centered approach to Christian fellowship.
Grace and peace